30 Free Mac Audio Plugins

We feature a lot of free Windows music software at Synthtopia, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some fantastic freebies for Mac users, too.

Case in point- this collection of 30 free audio plugins from Airwindows:

All of the following plugins are free. They are for you to use as much as you want, on personal or commercial projects, forever. It’s also important to mention that these are the demos for the pay plugins- they’re built on the same code base, so if they work on your host then so will the pay ones. In many cases the freebies are every bit as good as the commercial ones! They are my way of making sure that I’m not forgetting to be generous and support the struggling artist. If I do that, then I can deserve to be supported in turn through people buying other stuff.

Details on each free Mac audio plugin below.

  1. AcousticBass, convolution modeling of acoustic bass
  2. Airwindows Impulses, which is not a plugin but is a set of reverb impulses for convolution reverbs
  3. Amps is all six Airwindows amp plugins for free. Buy Cabs or use them with a speaker convolution impulse- these are pre-speaker.
  4. CabSVT, the ultimate bass guitar plugin
  5. Channel, the classic mix buss and individual channel analogifying plug. Back to the original formula by popular demand!
  6. ChannelEQ, a basic four-band fixed-frequency EQ which passes bit-identical output when set flat
  7. Chorus, a taste of the Airwindows modulation effects for free
  8. Crystal, the colorless but still fully functional version of the Character plugs, free!
  9. Density, a very warm overdrive. Warning, extremely high gain at high settings!
  10. Digital Black, a special gate which defaults to 16 bit noisefloor and can gate different sounds with different degrees of staccato.
  11. DitherDemo, which shows you how dither works (truncation, flat, TPDF, and Airwindows special dithers) up close and personal!
  12. DitherTo is Chris’s personal choice for the ultimate dither to 16 bit, and the ultimate dither to 24 bit- different one each time- and FREE to benefit the industry (dither is not a huge market segment, frankly)
  13. Doubler, just what it says. Another slick Airwindows pitch-shifter freebie.
  14. Drive, a gutsier, edgier overdrive.
  15. Flanger, more Airwindows modulation magic for a really sweet, airy flange
  16. Flutter, which includes a stereo version, sounds fantastic, but doesn’t have working delay compensation, so it’s free too.
  17. Fracture, the 2008 Airwindows Xmas present for lovers of ugly sound everywhere 🙂
  18. FreeverbCJ, the ultimate Freeverb hack- adjust room size AND RT60 independently, not just RT60 labeled ‘room size’
  19. Gate, formerly for sale here, in a simplified but still amazing-sounding version
  20. Nikola, an attempt to do the sound of an audio Tesla Coil. NASTY!
  21. Pressure, an early vari-mu compressor design
  22. RMSBuddyCJ, graphical RMS readout for easy reference on hot modern mastering levels
  23. SampleDelay, the only sample delay with negative delay, allowing you to nudge things slightly ahead of the beat, as well as behind.
  24. Silhouette is a specialized plugin that takes a track and replaces it entirely with noise shaped to the exact dynamic profile of the track- use it to tell if you have a beat or just an over-compressed mess 😉
  25. Slew, just the slew section of what’s now in Channel.
  26. SpacedOut is just the ‘aliased Myspace monitoring’ section of SpaceOdyssey, might also be good for low-fi old school sampler sounds in conjunction with Slew.
  27. Stereo Chorus, the stereo version of Chorus. Modulates both channels! Feed with mono or dual mono.
  28. Vibrato, which can be set with vibratos so fast it becomes ring modulation, and can do two frequencies at once- try doing chimelike sounds or similar effects.
  29. Dual Mono Verbs, my first reverb attempts. Dual Mono is unusual- it’s not a realistic room sound, but it sits in the mix in a special way. Replaced by FarSpace as a commercial product, all Verbs buyers get FarSpace/NearSpace free now that Verbs is a freebie 🙂
  30. Wah is the definitive Airwindows style plugin. It’s a wah pedal. Really- try it. Unlike anything else in software- it sounds, feels and reacts like an analog wah pedal.

Note: With all of these plugins, the way to install them is not by clicking the ‘component’ file- what you have to do is place it in a certain folder (either in the system or your home directory), which is Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components. If you put AU plugins in there, all programs that can use them will know how to find them, automatically. (You will have to quit and restart your audio program if it was running.)

8 thoughts on “30 Free Mac Audio Plugins

  1. Don't know about Power PC, but I just spent a frustrating half hour trying to the the Tesla plugin to show up in Logic on my Intel machine. Are these things VSTs and not AU?

  2. have no clue how to open these files with ableton, even after I place then in the component folder.. please help!

  3. Tessla and ALL of bootsy's plugins are vst only as the GUI's are made in synth maker.

    Here's a couple of GREAT plugs that everyone should have.
    Mac compatible and made by commercial companies.

    1 – Elysia Niveau Filter
    2 – Brainworx Cleensweep 2.
    3 – Flux Bittersweet and Stereo Tool.
    4 – SPL Freeranger
    5 – GSi WatCat tape echo
    6 – Nomad Factory Warmer/Phaser ? (I'm sure is Mac)

    There are more but those I've listed more than make up for the mistakes in the original post.

    ps. Check out Masey's plugs to as they are top notch and all free (just with limitations like no saving etc)

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